tv BBC World News America PBS September 29, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT
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corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news america." >> this is "bbc world news america."reporting from washington, i am gillibrand. germany votes to give the euro zone -- jill o'brien. germany boats to give the euro zone a boost. accusations they supported anti- government protests. and beijing -- we have blastoff. china takes an ambitious step in trying to become a major player in the space race.
welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and also around the globe. after weeks of financial uncertainty that has taken the world markets on a wild ride, today, germany threw a major lifeline to the struggling euro zone. parliament voted overwhelmingly to boost the bailout funds to countries like greece. many are hoping it will provide some stability. that has been in short supply lately. from berlin, are your editor kevin have -- our europe editor gavin hewitt reports. >> europe's most powerful woman faced a crucial vote. angela merkel figured -- feared a rebellion over controversial plans to increase the powers of the u.'s main bailout -- the
eu's main bailout fund. angela merkel is seen as europe's key leader. she could not count on her own side to win the vote, she risk humiliation -- if she could not count on her own side to win the vote, she risked humiliation. she walked across the floor as the chief whip told her that she had survived the crisis. >> i am really relieved. it was a very strong signal of chairman commitment -- german commitment to european integration and to the euro. >> what did germany's politicians agree on today? the expansion of the eu's man bailout fund to 440 million euros -- main belau fund to 440
million the bureau's -- main bailout fund to 440 million euros. rebels within her coalition have served notice that, if further demands are made on german resources, their support cannot be taken for granted. the german people may be less pleased with today's news. they are against further bailouts. many believe a much larger bailout fund will be needed in the future to protect some of europe's larger or economies. that might test angela merkel's leadership all over again. >> while they were voting in germany today, in greece people were once again taking to the streets in protest over the strict austerity measures which have already been imposed. there were new demonstrations taking place as inspectors
returned to athens. for more on problems plaguing the euro zone, i am joined by robert shapiro, who served as undersecretary of commerce during the clinton administration. thank you for joining us. germany's vote is seen as a step in the right direction, but doesn't actually tackle the underlying problems facing the euro zone? >> it does not even tackle the underlying problem for this week, which is to say, it is not just germany. these boats have to be unanimous. getting 17 governments to agree is a very large task. what we have done this week is avoid the crisis exploding immediately. analysts believe we have -- the markets will give the euro zone two to three weeks to resolve this, at which point there will be significant market attacks not just against the greek sovereign debt, but also
italian. my view is not the resolution is so complicated, so complex both politically and technically, that what the markets want is a sign that they're on the path to doing so, and then it will give them another two to three weeks. if at any point it breaks down, we could face a very terrible crisis. in returning to greece -- >> turning to greece. they are already in the terrible crisis and they do not seem to want any more austerity. is there an alternative to what they are thinking? >> there are alternatives, although they are not good alternatives. in effect, it would separate greece from the rest of the euro zone. the fact is that greece is bankrupt. nothing will change that. is the euro zone prepared to go into the market and support the price of greek bonds as a
sign they are prepared to go into the market and prepare italian bonds, spanish bonds, portuguese bonds, irish bonds? in a monetary union, it only works if the full faith and credit of the whole stand behind the full faith and credit of each part. the euro zone only has one credit-sound large economy, then has five other much smaller credit-sound economies, and the rest are not. >> does this compare with the crisis we saw in america in 2008? >> it does in certain respects. it is more dangerous. the bank's holding sovereign bonds are already weekend from the 2008 crisis -- banks holding sovereign bonds are already weakened from the 2008
crisis. the governments do not have credibility to take other steps to stabilized the situation, for example, guaranteeing money market balances. >> thank you very much. in bahrain today, a military court sentenced a group of medics up to 15 years in prison for treating anti-government demonstrators earlier this year. there were found guilty on charges including in citing the overthrow of the government -- they were found guilty on charges including inciting the overthrow of the government. the bbc reports. >> it was back in february that bahrain's majority shi'ite- muslim population took to the streets of the capital, demanding more rights and freedom from the s kingdom fromunni war -- from the
kingdom's sunni warlords. within weeks came this brutal response from the authorities. at least 30 people were reported hundreds injured.ed they were treated in the main hospital. the $20 -- 20 doctors here have been given long prison sentences, charges including occupying their own hospital. >> they, like i said, were involved with the hardline protesters who asked for regime change. they attempted a coup d'etat. no one is above the law -- by their doctor, nurse, -- neither doctor, nurse, or royal family member. >> human rights campaigners have condemned the court verdict, describing it as ludicrous, saying the doctors were simply
carrying out their medical duties. >> during the protest, casualties injured people. doctors were trying to do their job. >> the authorities were quick to dismantle the monument in the central square, which had been the focus of the protests until the crackdown. the sunni leadership is succeeding in removing any one the police had any connection with the protest movement -- anyone it believes had any connection with the protest movement. >> 20 me is the chief policy officer for the organization physicians -- joining me now is the chief policy officer for the organization physicians for human rights. what do you think of the assertion that these doctors
were involved with hard-line protestors in seeking regime change? >> first of all, the organization that i represent views today's draconian verdicts as a further escalation in the -- and worsening of the human rights records. medical professionals have taken an oath to provide, impartially and without bias, medical skills and services to those who are in need. our report that we have issued earlier this year, which is called "do no harm," and i encourage your viewers to read it on our website, uses the scientific method to establish what led to the arrest and the situation that these medical professionals found themselves in. we have found no evidence that they were involved in anything
else but providing medical services to those in need, according to their professional and ethical obligations. >> you have found evidence, though, that some detainees have been tortured. what do you know about thè doctors are being treated? >> the doctors, while they were detained, were treated for typically. -- treated horrifically. they went on a hunger strike to protest their conditions. we have urged that they get full medical access to see what medical condition they're in. >> down the obama administration do anything about this? -- can the obama administration's do anything about this? >> the united states has significant pull in bahrain. there is a free-trade agreement with united states. only because we are talking
about a close friend and ally should not mean that we should mince words. we should be just as open and honest and straightforward with them as we are with any other country, calling on these countries to oblige 0-- abide by their own international obligations they have undertaken. but your brain -- for bahrain, it has undertaken these obligations. the trials and mechanisms that were used in the trials were basically flying in the face of international standards. >> thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> in libya today, u.s. senator john mccain was among the first group of american congressmen to visit tripoli since the fall of muammar gaddafi last month. speaking in the libyan capital, senator mccain had this to say about the major changes the country has undergone. >> the libyan people have
inspired the world. they have turned cynics' into supporters. they have paid an enormous price for their freedom, but the sacrifice of the libyan people has delivered their great nation to the shores of a new world for new hope, a chance for all libyans to no lasting peace, dignity, and justice -- know lasting peace, dignity, and justice. >> while the country tries to chart a new future after more than 40 years of colonel gaddafi's rule, the education system is ripe for reform. for decades, it was a testing ground for the many radiological whims' of its leader. with students -- many ideological winhims of its leader. bbc reports. >> back to school and into a new era. with a different national anthem to sing.
the words are still a little unfamiliar. ♪ mornings used to start with "praise to colonel gaddafi" and his eccentric theories. today, it is something more wholesome -- exercise. and, in class, a discussion about freedom and what it means. quite a contrast with what they used to teach. >> gaddafi never let us say anything, says this 12-year-old. if we criticized him, we would go to prison. >> the former ruler's children attended this school, one of libya's best. his menacing influence was felt everywhere. >> it was not only his ideology. there were just random decisions, like changing the curriculum.
the kids could not learn anything. >> the thoughts and deeds of muammar gaddafi, like his famous green book, were required readings for students. here in the main library of libya's biggest university, they are clearing of the gaddafi- related publications from the shelves, leaving these huge gaps. once a person sells of ideology like this, the country's education -- once they purse themselves o -- purge themselve ideology like this, the country's education system will have to start from scratch. they are having their first free discussion about the future. i asked the new university president what would happen to those who supported the old regime. >> they are still here.
we did not kick them out. they are still receiving their salary, etc., etc. we did not take anyone. this book, of course, is forbidden. yeah, it is eveil. -- evil. you are with me or against me -- that is not democracy. >> so, out they go. a symbolic humiliation. a book which, like the man who wrote them, choked and twisted the intellectual life of the country. >> now to some of the day's other news. the white house has described an attack on robert 4, ambassador to syria, as unjustified and -- robert ford, ambassador to
syria, as unjustified and unwarranted. protesters surrounded the building for several hours, until members of the syrian security forces the courts ordered him -- forces esc orted him to the embassy. yousaf raza gillani told a meeting of -- that relationships between the country should be based on mutual respect. relations have hit new lows. pakistan rejects recent charges. you're watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program -- his parents speak out in an exclusive interview, seeking clemency for their son.
italy is renowned for its classical architecture and sculpture, but the residents of -- the bronze version of the polish pontiff have been -- has been criticized. some say it looks like a bomb has hit it. >> throughout his life, he was loved by millions around the world. in death, he has been fast track toward sainthood. in the italian capital, pope john paul ii is remembered by this. the five-meter bronze statue was unveiled in may. it has had its critics. even a newspaper linked to the catholic church says this has to change. jump forward to the artist behind the work. the artist laughs off the criticism. >> not even the sistine chapel
was well received at first. the school per -- sculptor says he will make minor adjustments. people said he was not close enough to the original plans. >> a commission made above are experts at the vatican suggested that the artist should be given the time and the means -- a commission made up of experts at the vatican suggested that the artist should be given the time and the means to make corrections. >> when a man has a saintly reputation t, it saintly reputationhat, after -- reputation, it is important that, after death, the reputation is preserved. >> there is increasing demand for gold, prompting chinese companies to launch in vending machines -- launch gold vending
machines. it has been nearly 10 years since john walker lind, a young american from california, was picked up and charged for fighting with the taliban. he is serving a 20-year prison sentence. his parents have spoken exclusively to the bbc's security correspondent. >> he was a boy from california who, as a teenager, converted to islam. he was detained in afghanistan. he became known as the american taliban. >> is is the news we "" magazine -- this is the "newsweek" magazine. >> it was like having a tidal wave come over you and nothing to hold it back. >> they repeatedly accused my son of being a terrorist and a
contributing to 9/11, of being a traitor to the united states -- against the united states. >> as a teenager, he came to this mosque outside san francisco. >> he was not sure of his direction in this world. it seemed islam and religion was a way to fulfill himself. >> lind converted to islam, an and learned arabic. after 9/11, he was detained. these images of him, bedraggled and wounded, were broadcast around the world. he claims he was mistreated in u.s. custody. >> there were these photos of him naked and blindfolded. >> a legal advisor in the justice department resigned due to her concerns about the case.
>> the level of vitriol and animosity toward him was just astounding. i felt like that was clouding the normal lens we would use to look at a case more objectively. >> he pleaded guilty. the authorities dropped the al- qaeda charges. he allied himself with the regime and went to fight with the regime that was hostile to the united states and that supported the attacks on 9/11. in my book, that is pretty serious. it is not for treason, but it is certainly -- he pled guilty. the judge imposed an import permits and this -- an appropriate sentence. >> he was designated detainee 001. his father argued that, 10 years on, it is time to look at the case in a new light.
>> he had no connection with al- qaeda, with terrorism. he was simply a soldier in the army of afghanistan. >> lindh's parents took the president might grant clemency and come in doing so, remove the stain from the worst allegations. >> i think it is critical for john's life, whenever he get a prison, that he is able to live a fully human life without having to look over his shoulder for someone that wants to do him harm. >> for many americans, lindh remains the man who pays the price for fighting on the side of the enemy. halfway through 20-year prison sentence, the chance of clemency or early release seems remote. >> moving to the space race and an entrant that is hoping to block -- move ahead of the rest. china has establish itself as
one of the world's growing economic powers, and now they're taking on a new frontier. today, the country launched an experimental model which is expected to lay the groundwork for future space station. >> on schedule and shortly off for space, china's leaders were there to see the launch. at 9:16 local time, tiangong-1, or heavenly palace, lifted off. this mission is being seen as a milestone for china's graeme. it is also being fueled by national prestige. >> according to the reports of the beijing space control, the tiangong-1 has been inserted into orbit. now would like to announce that the mission has been a complete success -- now i would like to announce that the mission has
been a complete success. >> the mission is capturing the public's imagination. i am so happy, said this woman. this man said the launch was a huge deal for the country, ensures china's power and strength. when in orbit, tiangong-1 will be used for docking practice. it is crucial that china masters this technique is to build a space station within the next decade. china still lags behind russia and the u.s. in terms of technical know-how, but it has the money for its space program, and now believes it has the momentum to become a superpower. -- space superpower. >> that brings us to the end of today's broadcast. remember, you can get constant updates on our web site. for all of us at "bbc world news america," thank you for